A brain game is something we hear more and more about these days. Why is that? Is it because of the growing number of developmental disabilities, and/or the rise in Alzheimer’s? Certainly, if you have ever had someone in your family experience the loss of memory and connection to their family, you would most likely be interested in exploring all the options that could potentially help. To see a parent or grandparent begin to not recognize their own children and grandchildren is obviously difficult to witness. It can be especially difficult for the children, and also the grandchildren, at any age. Where there is a loss of memory related to your family, there is a change in the energetic connection as well. How big a challenge is Alzheimer’s? How many is it impacting?
Globally, Alzheimer’s is an epidemic, and sadly, one which many have come to accept as a normal part of growing older.
This does not have to be the case, nor should it. In 2010, there were approximately 450,000 new cases, and by 2030 that number is expected to grow by 35% to about 615,000 cases. By 2050? 959,000 cases, and that’s just the number of new cases.
What about learning and developmental disabilities? Are they growing as well? Sadly, yes, and again, this does not have to be the case. Currently:
- 17.8% of children ages 3 – 17 are diagnosed with some type of delay (2015 – 2017)
- 16.2% of children ages 3 – 17 were diagnosed with some type of delay (2009 – 2011)
- ADHD diagnosis increased from 8.5% to 9.5% from 2011 – 2017
- Autism Spectrum Disorder increased from 1.1% to 2.5% from 2011 – 2017 (that’s not the number of children with that disorder. That’s just the increase!)
So what are some solutions? The good news is there are many potential answers. The challenging news is that some of the most promising approaches are not officially recognized, meaning that the responsibility then shifts from our formal medical community to individuals. The challenge is then what do we try? What do we believe? Where do we go to find objective information?
I work with children and families all over the world, and much of my work has been with children ages 3 – 12, from backgrounds of poverty. A great deal of my work has been with preschool children and their families, some of which were children on the spectrum of Autism. Many others were considered to have ADHD. In both cases, I have explored using strategies, which for the most part, have been very successful in helping those children expand their awareness from their own world, to the world most of us live in.
Here are some of the concepts and strategies which have been extremely successful:
- Movement-based learning, known as Embodied Learning
- Teaching the concepts of “Holding Your Energy and Using Your Energy”
- Deep Breathing related to lowering heart rate and increasing a sense of calm
- Embedding music at specific frequencies into learning activities
- Rhythmic Consonance (being physically in rhythm with music)
- Crossing the Midline in play-based ways
- Repeated activities
Invest some time in exploring movement and brain-based learning and experiences for yourself, and those you work with and lead.
Examples of Brain Games in Action